Incentives for Ecosystem Services (IES) in the Himalayas: A ‘Cookbook’ for Emerging IES Practitioners in the Region

the desired change on the landscape or ecosystem service. It may also prevent the IES from scaling up, or becoming ‘officially certified’, which may prevent an IES action being offered on a broader market (such as carbon trading). Unintended consequences of IES require a great deal of prior examination, consultation and forethought to avoid conflict, equity issues and unsustainable arrangements. Where groups are newly formed or have little or no tradition of collective natural resource management, an IES initiative may contrast with the need to build cooperation gradually. However, once established, management of common resources enables collaboration to advance on projects that support the community common good and sustainability,

as opposed to individual profit extraction and less sustainable initiatives. The same collaborations that serve in IES may also serve in improving agricultural, educational or community management. Improved leadership and representation can strengthen the community response to climate change. Ultimately, the long-term impact of the IES is related to both the direct incentives and action it stimulates in terms of conservation, but also in terms of its longer- term impact on community function and institution- building. The key is to understand the conditions under which a payment or reward will stimulate collective action and conservation, as well as understanding which conditions (perhaps at a later date) might bring perverse or undesired outcomes.


Incentives for Ecosystem Services (IES) in the Himalayas

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